Brandon Graham: We can’t put the game in the refs’ hands

Washington Commanders v Philadelphia Eagles
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The Eagles looked set to get the ball back with over 90 seconds left to play on Monday night when Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke gave himself up for a sack, but Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham was flagged for hitting Heinicke late.

The penalty allowed the Commanders to drain all but five seconds off the clock before the Eagles’ final, ill-fated play and Washington wound up with a 32-21 win after Casey Toohill recovered a fumble for a touchdown. After the game, referee Alex Kemp said in a pool report that Heinicke had clearly given himself up and Graham’s hit “was not only late but also to the head and neck area.”

Graham said “it just looked like he was going to get up” when discussing the play after the game and that it is on him to get it right.

“We can’t put the game in the refs’ hands,” Graham said, via a transcript from the team. “In that position, I just have to know if he goes down, it’s okay. For me, I was just hustling to the play trying to make sure he was down and just trying to get off the field.”

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said he did not have a chance to talk with officials about the call, but that it was “not what lost us the football game.” On a night when the offense had three turnovers and the defense allowed 152 rushing yards, it would be hard to argue that the penalty, painful as it way, was a leading reason for the Eagles’ loss.

14 responses to “Brandon Graham: We can’t put the game in the refs’ hands

  1. Especially when you commit an obvious penalty and make it almost impossible for them not to blow the whistle. Or are we pretending it was a bad call? Because it clearly wasn’t.

  2. Making excuses the true test of a dominate team , Not ! Maybe should of bought more players before the trade deadline … it’s the Dream Team all over again , babies ! 🤠

  3. All due respect, Brandon,there were also ~40 other plays that you were on the field. It was clear in this game who was winning.

    Also- play until the whistle, Sure, after the whistle though, you are asking to be flagged, as your team was flagged a few times for exactly that.

  4. “It looked like he was going to get up”. That means you knew he was down, genius. Also took multiple steps and adjusted course to ensure contact, all done AFTER he was already down.

  5. Not a fan of either team but that was about the most blatant roughing the passer play you’ll ever see. Not sure how anyone can question that flag.
    Refs missed the facemask on the Goedert fumble but also benefitted the Eagles with a questionable PI that set up their first TD and a very questionable offensive PI on Washington late. A lot of whining today but I don’t see why.
    Eagles are a very good team. They should get to the Super Bowl. But Washington played very well last night, dominated time of posession and deserved to win.

  6. Right call. Bad rule. Heinicke was clearly trying to drain the clock which makes him a runner. Regardless if he was in the pocket or not. Graham didn’t need to go full tilt on him for sure but neither was it so egregious where it warranted a penalty. This is more of a product of legislating common sense out of the game more than anything else.

  7. The Eagles and their fans cannot complain about the bad calls last night. There was terrible officiating all around, and both teams benefited from the bad calls.

  8. Heineicke was not only still on his knees, he was being held there by another Eagle. Graham is a good guy but it was a boneheaded play.

  9. Yeah, you’re a bozo. There’s a reason why your career is overrated and you were seen as a bust in the first few seasons of your career.

  10. I’m glad the Eagles lost but that was a weird looking play. From one angle it did appear he was getting back up.
    Tough call…

  11. What you need to do is to stop playing dirty. You had plenty of steps to not hit Heinicke. I know you aren’t used to playing with or against a QB with a brain, but you got gamed.

  12. When a player clearly gives himself up, the play is over. No question the QB was giving himself up to stay inbounds and keep the clock running. Utterly boneheaded hit. The best part was seeing Hurts’ reaction. You didn’t have to be much of a lipreader to understand what he was about.

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